Residential mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures continue decline despite higher interest rates. Economist and lenders say the decreases can be attributed to the recent home-loan refinancing boom and a strong national economy.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's quarterly survey, the seasonably adjusted delinquency rate of an loans in the third quarter fell to 3.9% - the lowest level in 21 years. That's down 31 basis points from the second-quarter figure.

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